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An Oracle blog about Education and Research

Addressing data egress uncertainty for academia

Oracle has a deep understanding of the needs of the public sector built on four decades of experience. Oracle helps education and research institutions to enhance teaching, learning and research with innovative cloud solutions. 

Predicting the unknown

IT departments of large public institutions typically plan for annual or multi-year budget cycles using traditional pricing models designed for on-premises hardware and software procurements. Government funded research projects have total budget caps and rigid cost categories to claim direct and indirect expenses. Fitting the modern, flexible Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) cloud pricing models into these financial processes is challenging for public sector. Although it sounds attractive that institutions only pay for what they use, it is very difficult for them to plan budgets and cloud consumption upfront. The biggest unknowns are associated with hidden costs, unexpected overages and unused cloud credits. 

Reassuring through the OCRE framework

The higher education and research community in Europe, collaborating under the umbrella of the GÉANT Association, executed a joint public procurement tender for cloud services frameworks in 2020. The Open Cloud for Research Environments (OCRE) Framework helped address the requirement of predictable cloud pricing for academia. Oracle was successful in the tender, with cloud framework contracts awarded in all 40 framework countries, via 6 value-added reseller partners. 

Addressing predictable pricing

In a cloud environment, hidden costs are typically associated with those service metrics that are hard to predict due to unexpected behaviors of direct or indirect use. Networking, for instance, is an essential cloud component where ingress and egress traffic volumes coming to/from public Internet directions are difficult to estimate. Outgoing network traffic charges are vastly different depending on the cloud platforms, their upstream connectivity providers, geographical regions and commercial internet exchanges used.

Since 2016, many big cloud vendors announced special egress traffic fee waivers – or rather discounts – to the research and education community, in order to help reduce uncertainty. Microsoft, Amazon and Google modified their initial pricing policies to waive Internet egress traffic charges up to a maximum of 15% of the total monthly consumption bill. They expect most of the higher education and research use cases to fit under this discount threshold.

Oracle, however, took a different approach. Oracle guarantees free Internet egress traffic up to 10 TB data per month. This accommodates most of the usual academic usage scenarios. Moreover, above 10 TB data per month, Oracle's data egress traffic charges are the lowest in the industry, often by 80-90% in Europe and North America. Therefore Oracle provides cheaper and more predictable pricing should the traffic volume reach 15% of the monthly consumption bill or higher.

Further discounts may be offered by the reseller partners depending on the actual academic use cases.

Connecting to research networks

In addition to the public Internet peering referred to above, Oracle FastConnect service provides dedicated private connectivity via the pan-European GÉANT network to academia where Oracle does not charge for any traffic volume. Read about how the solution helps the community in my other blog post

For more information on Oracle cloud economics, please visit: https://www.oracle.com/cloud/economics/

Read the report on how to Modernize Your IT Infrastructure and Lower TCO with Oracle Cloud

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